Fantasy Football How To Setup Your Lineup

Fantasy Football Roster

Week by week, you'll need to set up your starting lineup to defeat your opponent. Some players will be on a bye week (will not be playing), while others will be playing against weak teams. Creating the strongest lineup possible each week is imperative to securing a spot in the fantasy football playoffs at the end of the season.

How Do I Set My Fantasy Football Lineup?

Although the process varies slightly by fantasy platform, you will typically set your fantasy football lineup in the “Team” or “My Teams” tab of your fantasy app or website. Once you have selected the correct team, you will be able to view your roster, with your starters listed at the top.

Within the team menu, click the “Edit Lineup” tab. This tab will allow you to select a player to move by tapping “Move.” Finally, pick the player with whom you want to replace the player you are moving by clicking “Here” beside that player. Continue moving players around in this manner until you have your desired lineup in starting positions and the players you want to sit in bench positions.

How to Pick Your Fantasy Football Lineup

The first thing to consider when picking your fantasy football lineup is key matchups in the upcoming week’s schedule. These can be games in which a strong team is expected to blow out a weak one or in which there are predicted discrepancies between the offensive and defensive squads. Make sure you are starting any players on your team that are expected to be on the favorable side of any impending matchup.

Next, make sure you have a bye week strategy. Avoid drafting or trading for players that have the same bye week unless you are deliberately collecting players with the same draft week in order to take a strategic loss that week. While you are paying close attention to the NFL schedule, make sure to note all of the Thursday and Monday games that your players are scheduled to play in, so you don’t miss a deadline or opportunity.

Finally, pay attention to injuries and avoid making impulsive trades or roster changes. If a player suffers a season-ending injury, then it is best to drop them. However, a high-performing player may be worth benching for a few weeks if they return to their former production level. Don’t be scared or pressured into making trades that you aren’t sure will end up in your favor. It is best to draft a good team, then pick a strategy and stick with it throughout the season.

Once Your Lineup is Set

Once your lineup is complete, and you have each player where you want them, check the total of projected points for the week you’re expected to get. Most websites will do this for you but if they do not, simply add up all of the projected points for your starters. Now compare that number to your opponent. Do they have more projected points, or do you? Of course, these are only projections, and those numbers could fall short or exceed expectations. That's the fun of fantasy football; anything can happen!

If there are free agents with more projected points than your starters, consider adding them so that you can raise your projected point total.

Key Lineup and Roster Terms

There are many important terms to be aware of when considering your fantasy football lineup, including:


The “bench” is the list of players that will not be used during a particular week. 'Bench players' are players who are on the bench.

Bench Player

A “bench player” is a player who stays on the bench and does not play during a given week. Points accumulated by these players do not count to your team’s score for the week. If you have good bench players, it might be a good idea to trade them along with one of your starters for an even better starter.


The “ceiling” is the best possible performance you can expect from a player. Think of this as a best-case scenario if the player performs very well.


“CV” is a statistic used to measure the consistency of a player. Consistent players are more reliable. Inconsistent players with high point totals can be used when you need a big comeback, as they have a very high ceiling. They also have a low floor, so be wary.


“Depth” refers to the quality of the bench players on a team, as well as the quality throughout the entire roster. It is the opposite of start power, or the quality of your top players.

Depth Chart

The “depth chart” is the list of players at their particular positions on a roster and whether they are a starter or a backup on the team.


The “floor” is the worst possible performance you can expect from a player. A floor will occur if the player plays but is ineffective in their game. The range from floor to ceiling is a more helpful metric than the floor or ceiling on their own.

Game-Time Decision (GTD)

A “game-time decision” is a player who may or may not play in a game; the decision whether or not they play will be made moments before game time. He may also be listed as “probable.”

Late Swap

A “late swap” refers to swapping out a player who has started their game for a player who has not started their game. This is not allowed in most leagues.


A “lineup” is a list of the players that will be used during a particular week. Often referred to as the “starting lineup.” The players on your team who are not in your lineup find a spot on your bench or are on the injured reserve.


The “median” is the point total that a player is the most likely to gain. It is not necessarily equidistant between the ceiling and floor.


A player who is “out” will not play in a game. They should be sat on your bench. If they aren't very good players, you can drop them.

Probable (Pro)

A player who is “probable” may or may not play in a game, but they are likely to play. You should check in before the game to see if they’re playing.


“Reserve” is another term for bench players.


The “roster” is the list of all players on a team, including the ones in your lineup, on the bench, and on the injured reserve.

Roster Limit

The “roster limit” is the maximum number of players allowed on a team. This typically varies from league to league. You can find out the roster limit by viewing the league settings.


The “starters” are the players on a team whom owners will receive points for during a given week. This is because these players are in the starting lineup.


“Start-sit” refers to deciding which players will sit and which players will start in a given week. It is also referred to as “Start or Sit.”


When do you have to set your lineup for fantasy football?

Your fantasy football lineup must be set before the kickoff of each of your fantasy player’s real-life games. Thus, not every position is required to be set at the same time, as the deadline depends on the fantasy player filling that position. This is the default setting, but league manager leagues offer other options for locking lineups, including locking them at a specified time picked by the commissioner or locking them at the kickoff of the first game of the week.

What is a lineup in fantasy football?

A lineup in fantasy football consists of all of the fantasy players you have in starting positions. A successful fantasy manager will assess and change their lineup every week. Typical fantasy football lineups feature nine slots, designated by player position as follows: one quarterback (QB), two running backs (RBs), two wide receivers (WRs), one tight end (TE), one FLEX, one defense/special teams (D/ST), and one kicker (K).

How many starters and bench players are on a fantasy football team?

Typical fantasy football teams consist of 16 players, which are divided into two groups: starters and bench players. Each fantasy team has nine starters, who are the players put into a game when it begins. Fantasy teams also have seven bench slots, which are filled by players who serve as backups in case a starter gets injured or is on a bye week. It is important to note that bench players cannot be moved into a starter’s slot during a game but can only be switched afterward.